Facebook shares stage comeback on bank Messenger talks

Facebook has also suggested that it could perhaps integrate banks' fraud alerts or account balances into the app.

According to a report Monday in the Wall Street Journal, the data included such detailed matters as card transactions besides Facebook-related purchases and checking-account balances. In order for Facebook to show users' banking information, Facebook would need to have access to that same data too, which it could then use to improve its ad-targeting algorithms. "A recent WSJ story implies incorrectly that we are actively asking financial services companies for financial transaction data-this is not true", Facebook said in statement. You might rightly question why the behemoth that is Facebook should grow to encompass any more personal information about anyone, let alone information as sensitive as bank accounts. An essential part of these efforts is keeping people's information safe and secure, ' Facebook said in a statement.

Citigroup spokeswoman Elizabeth Fogarty said while the bank regularly has "conversations about potential partnerships, safeguarding the security and privacy of our customers' data and providing customer choice are paramount in everything we do".

The banks' primary concern with this partnership is, unsurprisingly, about data privacy.

Facebook's pushback comes as it's still reeling from the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal.

The social media giant partnered with American Express Co.in 2016 to enable customers to see past purchases, check card balances and learn about benefits and rewards through Messenger.

A spokeswoman for Citigroup said the company recognizes its customers are increasingly spending more time on social media and it wants to be where consumers are. "Facebook has told banks that the additional customer information could be used to offer services that might entice users to spend more time on Messenger".

The social media giant is facing lawsuits over the debacle in the U.S. and the United Kingdom, is being investigated by various agencies and has inspired a handful of data privacy bills in both the House and the Senate. "The idea that Facebook, which basically aggregates information to sell to third parties, could also add financial information to that mix seems uncomfortable, given their history". But surveys conducted previous year by the Verge, before Facebook's hellish 2018, showed the vast majority of consumers at least trust banks to safeguard their personal information.

Vanessa Coleman

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